Information and communication technology (ICT)
Computers are an integral part of today’s work, study and leisure, and students must know how to use them effectively, efficiently and ethically. Most social environments involve the use of information and communications technology in some form for entertainment, educational and recreational purposes.
Because technology changes so rapidly, the specific knowledge, processes and skills associated with working with information and communications technology should be periodically updated to ensure that the facilities provided by newly developed technologies can be exploited.
Students should concentrate on developing abilities that are not software or system-specific, and be able and willing to adapt to change. Even if not directly using computers, all individuals in society are affected in some way by their use within the organisations with which they interact. People need to understand the reasons for using computers and their potential for misuse, and be able to recognise when it is appropriate to use a computer-based application. For the student, this understanding is most meaningful if based on practical experience. Students also need to make decisions about the effective, legal, ethical and aesthetic use of technology.
The study area specification in Information & Communications Technology is concerned with using information and communications technologies (ICTs) to provide practical solutions to real life or simulated real-life problems. Its student-centred approach promotes confident, competent and self-motivated users and consumers of ICTs. This is important if students are to be successful in the next phase of their life, whether it is to pursue a career with ICTs, undertake further study, or gain employment. Students should also be able to keep pace with new technologies and be responsible users of ICTs, aware of the social, environmental and legal impacts of their actions.
To realise this, the subject provides the flexibility needed to accommodate new and emerging technologies, and the wide range of interests and abilities of the students who study it. By using a task-oriented approach instead of a tool-oriented approach, emphasis is placed on using ICTs to solve problems or complete tasks.
Students learn best by constructing their own learning — by undertaking meaningful and, if possible, authentic tasks, and then reflecting on what they have achieved. They should be challenged to produce effective solutions to problems and, in so doing, not only develop their abilities but also experience the fun and enjoyment of using ICTs.